Effect of ibotenate on brain development: an excitotoxic mouse model of microgyria and posthypoxic-like lesions

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1995 May;54(3):358-70. doi: 10.1097/00005072-199505000-00009.


Ibotenate, a glutamatergic agonist, was injected in developing mouse neopallium. When injected at the time of completion of supragranular neuronal migration (P0) ibotenate induces complete neuronal depopulation of layers V-VI and an abnormal sulcation of the overlying supragranular layers. Injected after completion of migration (P5-P10) ibotenate produces severe neuronal loss in layers II, III, IV, V, and VI. After exposure to ibotenate between P0 and P5, surviving neurons have the ability to resume their migration, inducing an abnormal neocortical pattern. Periventricular white matter lesions are observed after ibotenate injection at P2-P10, with a peak of occurrence at P5. Both gray and white matter damage are prevented by DL-2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, but not by L (+)-2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid, a metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist. The microtubule-associated type 2 protein, a dendritic marker, is absent in all ibotenate lesions, which reflects the developmental impairment of the dendritic phase. These staged lesions of the gray and white matter disclose a developmental sequence of excitotoxin-affected events starting with the selective and layered sensitivity of postmigratory neocortical neurons and continuing in the white matter with the astroglial maturation and the axonal growth. They faithfully mimic microgyrias, focal cortico-subcortical dysplasias, porencephalic cysts, and white matter damage observed in human perinatal hypoxic/ischemic lesions. This mouse model provides tools for investigating excitotoxic influences on neural development at the various stages and for identifying protective substances against excitotoxicity from hypoxic and from nonhypoxic origins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Alanine / pharmacology
  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain Diseases / embryology*
  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / drug effects*
  • Excitatory Amino Acids / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Hypoxia / complications
  • Ibotenic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • N-Methylaspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Excitatory Amino Acids
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • 2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Alanine
  • 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid